Today I visited the Hunt Library at CMU. I liked it very much. After years of reading about academic libraries, hearing stories from friends and family, I have discovered a beautiful place: the university sized library. Today I only checked out 3 books.
Good Poems and Good Poems for Hard Times both collected by Garrison Keillor (of Lake Woebegone fame). I own the 2nd book and wanted to reread some of my favorite poems from it. The first is his first collection of poetry. I bought “Good Poems for Hard Times” in the Minneapolis/St Paul airport when visiting colleges with my mom and fell in love with it. Beyond holding selections from everyone from Frost to Herman Melville (whose poem I really did not like) the book is itself a study in Midwestern ethics. There are some dissonances to the centered, smallish town sturdy ethos (“The Discovery of Sex” by Debora Spencer being one example). But that poem is the exception that makes the rule. Even when choosing a poem about revelation of newfound intimacy, Spencer’s two teenagers enjoying eachother’s company grow up in the poem and become adults with their own children. It is a mature and pleasant read, great fun for anyone who likes postage-stamp sized explanations of the world.
The third is The Autograph Collection of Favorite Songs of Famous Singers (Soprano). It has no marked date but I would guess old. The first famous singer is Blanche Marcheisi, who was an opera singer in the early 20 century, so I would guess the book itself if from the 1930s-50s. I checked it out for the simple reason that I want to see what other Sopranos liked to sing. This is probably begging trouble since I am sure my new teacher will have a very specific path he or she wants me to follow. But until I get a teacher I shall experiment (and maybe afterwards as well. We’ll see!).
My inspirational quote will be short:
People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.
– Logan Pearsall Smith